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Billy the Kid, #Podemos and the Corruption of Power

Spanish state. The state torturer Antonio González Pacheco, better known by his nickname Billy el Niño (Billy the Kid) died of coronavirus on May 7th in Madrid, at the age of 73. Like his old master Franco, he died in bed without being brought to trial for his crimes. In the 1970s he was a torturer under the Franco regime and then continued in this career during the “democratic transition”. He joined the police in the 1960s and became an inspector in 1971 and was in charge of a special brigade which investigated and arrested opponents of the Franco regime. He got his nickname from the habit of twirling his pistol in front of prisoners, and was involved in tortures like beating them whilst they were tied to a radiator or hanging from a bar, or on the soles of the feet, or forcing their heads under water. He is alleged to have been involved in the torture of hundreds.

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15M Appropriations and Revolutions: Fragmentary Visions in Spain

Perhaps the most radical legacy of 15M lies in the ways in which the expansion of self-managed forms of life have reshaped subjectivities, which in turn feed back into those forms.  ¨With 15M”, writes Carolina León, “like a slap of turmoil and spring with its precariousness, I knew that their existed a politics in each one of us, and that was an experience of transcending solitude.  … [T]he “revolution” has already triumphed, because it allowed a countless number of people to get out of themselves, to concern themselves with more than what belonged to them and pursue the discussion about living together.” (Carolina León, Trincheras permanentes, 11-2)  But to so speak of “revolution” does presuppose that it be re-conceptualised (the dogmatism on this issue by some anarchists is precisely the reason why Tomás Ibáñez thought that it was a good thing that 15M was free of anarchist organisations); a re-conceptualisation that is called for even if within anarchism, the idea of revolution as a single, insurrectionary event was always accompanied by a notion of social change that imagined revolution as emerging from expanding initiatives of self-management.


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